The 2009 swim season has barely ended but already the Riverton High School swimmers are diving into the new season with big plans for next year.
“Our goal is to qualify 12 girls and 12 boys for state next year,” said head coach Clark Etherington. “I have assembled a few coaches who are ready to dedicate themselves all year. I hope the swimmers are ready because making state will be hard, the summer will be long but Riverton swimming is going to be good next year.”
This year, six swimmers went to state Feb. 13 and 14 at BYU and though none of them placed, they all swam well, many breaking personal and team records. Senior Kaylee Fuller swam a personal best in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, while senior Abigale Griffiths beat her own best time in the 100 breaststroke. Junior Kylie Steadman also swam her best time in the 100 free and 100 backstroke, while junior Parker O’Very broke the team records for both the 200 free and 500 free.
“The girls scored more points this year at state than the previous three years combined,” Etherington said. “Our girls expected to swim this well and I believe we will swim better next year. We broke eight team records including all three girls relay teams. [Freshman] Kaylene Finch was the key to breaking those records. She will be one of the better swimmers next year.”
Looking back, Etherington believes he should’ve split the junior varsity team differently. “I probably would have the varsity team a little longer and have the junior varsity be a little more about stroke technique and less about longer swimmers. The new kids need more instruction about their strokes so they can be more efficient in the water,” he said.
Next year’s tryouts are in September but Etherington plans to begin a summer program March 23. “We’ll have to use three different pools 10 miles apart so we can fit our team in,” he said, noting the Riverton swimmers won’t have a “home” of their own until the Herriman pool is built in the next few years. The summer program is open to all aspiring swimmers, though Etherington knows what he’s looking for in swimmers for next year’s team.
“I’m looking for swimmers with work ethic and the determination to succeed,” he said. “A good swimmer is someone who is willing to listen and learn and work hard on a daily basis. Not someone who tries once in a while but all the time.”